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Friday 1 December 2023 Dublin: 2°C
Central Criminal Court

'I waited 46 years and I'm telling the truth' witness tells Dr Michael Shine trial

Retired surgeon Michael Shine (85) denies eight charges of indecently assaulting teenage boys at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital over a 27-year period.

Our Lady of Lourdes Hospitals Mark Stedman / The Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda Mark Stedman / /

A MAN WHO claims he was indecently assaulted by a retired surgeon has told a trial he has waited over four decades to tell his story.

Retired surgeon Michael Shine (85) denies eight charges of indecently assaulting teenage boys at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital and at his private clinic, both in Drogheda, Co Louth, on dates between 1964 and 1991.

On the third day of the trial, a second complainant said he was aged around 17 sometime in 1971 when he was injured in a motorbike accident. He was treated at the hospital and attended again as an outpatient some time later, to have the dressing on his wound changed.

He said Dr Shine met him in a treatment cubicle. During the treatment the doctor opened the fly of his trousers, put his hand down his underpants and started to feel his testicles, he said.

“I jumped off the couch, I said either back off or fuck off,” he testified.

He said a few days later he met his then girlfriend, who is now his wife, and told her “exactly what happened”.

“She just looked at me in amazement,” he said.

Hugh Hartnett SC, defending, told the witness that his client had no memory of seeing him during this time and put it to him that “nothing untoward” had happened.

‘I waited 46 years’

The witness replied: “I waited 46 years and I am telling the truth. That man assaulted me. I’m 100% certain of that.”

He denied ever going to a psychiatrist in relation to a civil claim. He said that he contacted the Dignity For Patients group because he wanted “justice for what Dr Shine had done to me”.

A third complainant testified that he was aged 18 in early 1976 when he attended the hospital with injuries from a traffic collision. He was treated for a broken wrist, stitches to the head, and injuries to his leg and finger.

He attended as an outpatient a couple of weeks later and a nurse brought him in to see Dr Shine.

“When I was lying on the bed he started feeling me around the top and me (sic) stomach. He slipped his hands down and started feeling me testicles and me penis,” he said.

I told him there was nothing wrong down there and he said, ‘I have to do this’. It went on for a few minutes.

The witness said that the accused was watching the door during all this, telling the jury: “I knew there was something not right. I didn’t know what to make of him.”

He attended the clinic again a few weeks later and said he again met Dr Shine. He said during treatment the same thing happened until he told the doctor to “get away” and “leave me alone”.

He said he asked the doctor to look at his finger injury but the doctor told him it would be ok. He said his finger is still not right to this day.

90132979_90132979 Sasko Lazarov / Sasko Lazarov / /

Hartnett put it to this witness that the hospital records from 1976 stated that he was treated by consultant MD Sheehan. He said records of an insurance claim from the time taken against the other driver in the crash stated that the other driver’s insurers had arranged for a medical examination in November.

The letter, addressed to the complainant, stated that: “Dr Shine will examine you in consultation with Mr Sheehan”. The witness said he couldn’t remember that and stated that he never met Dr Shine apart from the two times he described.


A fourth complainant told the jury that sometime in 1975 or 1976 he attended at the hospital with an ingrown toenail. He was aged around 15 or 16 at the time.

He met Dr Shine by appointment as well as a female assistant, who he assumed was a nurse. He said he was made to lie prostrate on a bed which he thought was strange.

He said a blanket was put over him and rubber bungee restraints were then strapped across him and the blanket at intervals.

He said Dr Shine and the assistant wrapped these cords around him, tying him down to the bed. He said he couldn’t move though he could probably have burst out.

He said he thought it was weird. He said the assistant “all of a sudden” went out of his sight and Dr Shine was sitting on a chair and at chest level to him.

He said the doctor slipped his hand under the blanket and started massaging his testicles.

“The whole thing was getting weirder and weirder. It seemed in no way to be a medical examination. How could it be?” he testified.

He described a random groping of his penis and testicles. He said he wondered if he should say something but thought he was just a young boy and “who am I to say something”.

At one point he grabbed one testicle and pulled it and I winced. It seemed I startled him and I was never so glad of anything.

“He pulled his hand back out. I thought thank God. I can still see his face. He never said anything,” the witness said.

He said the doctor then proceeded to cut away the toenail and said nothing about the “groping”.

Shine, of Wellington Road, Dublin 4 is accused of committing the indecent assaults at the hospital on unknown dates between 1964 and 1965, 1970 and 1972, 1975 and 1976 and, finally, on an unknown date between 1988 and 1991.

He is also accused of indecently assaulting a male on two occasions in a clinic in Drogheda on unknown dates in 1973, 1974, and 1975.

The trial continues before Judge Cormac Quinn and a jury of four men and eight women and is expected to last two weeks.

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